The current state of lockdown is necessary, but it’s isolating. There are good parts to that, but there also bad parts. It’s been mentioned before that modern life works against the creation and maintenance of communities, and that’s doubly true right now. That means that some people are at risk of falling through the cracks of social isolation. Many of us live with other people – parents, house/room mates, significant others, spouses – we have people to look out for us and take care of us when we’re sick. We have people who will call for first responders if something goes wrong and we can’t do so ourselves.
A lot of people are not in that situation. By choice or by chance, a lot of people live alone, and while that can have its upsides, it also comes with a degree of vulnerability. A friend of mine who works in healthcare recently articulated the problem in a way I think is useful:
Y’all, I FIGURED OUT WHAT I WAS AFRAID OF.
I’ve been terrified that I’ll catch this thing at work (it’s gotta be at work because I am scrupulous outside of work), become incapacitated at home (I was close to incapacitated by plain old flu A a couple of years ago)—
—and then no one will come check on me and feed my cat and make sure I have food and water and clean sheets and fresh pajamas and Tylenol. Because “you have to love people at a distance” and “no exceptions” and “flatten the curve” and “no contacts outside the household” and “this means you.” And I’ll be lying in an awful fever dream too sick to care for myself but not sick enough to go to the hospital.
That’s it. That’s the fear.
I feel much better now because one person promised that they won’t let that happen to me, but hey, PLEASE check on your single friends, and maybe offer to be that person for them. And as I have said in way too many Facebook posts now, PLEASE, I beg of you, check your rhetoric for how it might sound to a single person who lives alone. Especially if that person cannot “just stay at home.”
This is spot on. Check in on your acquaintances who are single or living alone. You don’t have to break your own isolation to communicate and make sure they’re OK. COVID-19 is a debilitating illness for some, as are many other ailments, and the way things are right now, some people may have things go wrong, and nobody will notice, because we’re not supposed to be seeing people around. Now is the time to engage in the praxis of community. Check up on each other. Stay in contact. Reach out if you feel that you need someone to check up on YOU. It’s always OK to ask for help.
Hey everybody, I am once again asking for your assistance. I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!